Doors to the Past
They had annual fairs; the Court House now the college building was used
to display fruits, vegetables, wines, canned goods, needle work, etc. The
stock was shown on the streets or lots. The exhibit was good and all took
much interest in it. The first sorgham molasses I ever saw was at one of
these fairs about 1852 was made in iron kettles it was very dark and thin,
but was quite a curiosity. I have spoken of the amount of live stock on
the farms. I quote prices from a memorandum book dated 1886, as I bought
from farm to farm when I was in the live stock business.*
On one trip I bought 35 cattle for $707.00 or $20.25 per head.
On one trip I bought 99 sheep for 170.00 or 1.70 per head and 57 hogs for
417.00 or 8.00 per head.
On one trip I bought 10 Texas Ponies for 447.25 or 44.25.
On two or three trips, 695 sheep for 1435.00 or 2.05 per head.
On one trip I bought 212 sheep for 573.00 or 2.75 per head.
On one trip I bought 52 cattle for 936.20 or 3.25 to 3.40 per cwt.
On one trip I bought 34 yearlings for 466.00 or 13.75 per head.
On one trip I bought 30 head cattle including 11 yearlings at $2.85 per
The price of yearlings averaged about $10 to $15 per head; and the price
of two-year-olds, $16 to $20 per head. I bought two car loads of Putnam
County two-year-olds, one car at $27.50 and one at $30 per head. Putnam
County cattle was the best that I handled, but I could find more cattle in
Logan ranges than any of the other counties. In 1884 I found 108 yearling
cattle on Island Creek, belonging to one man I did not buy this bunch but
came out with sixty eight two-year-olds. I had special rates of $48 per
car to Baltimore. The Range cattle were raised cheap with good profit to
owner. Barboursville was the county seat from 1813 to 1888, or for seventy
five years, after a hot election it was removed to Huntington and
Barboursville College became the owner of the Court House. At this time
Rev. Wads was holding a quarterly meeting here. He went up to my house to
dinner with my wife, and in passing the home where I now live my wife told
him it would be a good place for a female school, he said he would talk it
up, and for me to see Mr. Poteet, the owner, and get his price on the
property which I did. He priced it about $500 less than he had been
asking. Before a deal was made, however, sentiment sprang up in Huntington
in favor of giving the Court House building to the proposed seminary.
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